Another thread got me thinking about this lost aspect of raiding.
There was a time when guilds had to raid underbosses for a number of weeks in order to obtain the materials and patterns needed to gear up the raid for the later challenges of the raid that were to be met near the end of a tier.
We had to farm Lava Core, Fiery Core and Core Leather or risk burning to death in the Molten Core.
We had to farm Onyxia Scales to craft cloaks to thwart to Shadowflames of Blackwing Lair.
We had to sacrifice stats and collect nature resist gear from innumerable sources to survive Ahn'Qiraj.
We had to thaw and collect Frozen Runes to build frost resist sets to give us a fighting chance in Naxxramas.
In TBC, the fight continued... There were resist requirements for Hydross, Solarian (initially), Mother Shahraz.
We saw some of this continued in WotLK with Sapphiron. However, by the time Fjola Lightbane and Eydis Darkbane came along, Blizzard decided resistances should simply be worked into encounter mechanics and the need for specialized gear was removed.
While I believe that having to farm gear mats was annoying and slowed progression and having to do it all again when a raid member left and someone new took his place was tedious; it also added to the building of community and the cohesiveness of the guild and made players work together to help gear up their teammates. And more importantly, it gave the group something to strive for together that would give them an edge as a reward for their dedication week after week.
Being able to decimate a raid tier within days of its release might be fun for a week for .001% of the WoW community as they race to world-first, but in the end, it really means very little and adds nothing to the spirit of the MMO when the only thing keeping you from killing a boss is the fact that Blizzard hasn't opened the door to his parlor just yet.
Building teams, gearing up for survivability rather shear damage output, working together over a period of time to face down bigger challenges, and finally having just enough resistance to whatever it is the boss is putting out is what made WoW raiding feel like something special...
Collecting crafting materials in raids now feels like a afterthought. Sure, we can collect blood spirits, haunting spirits and smelt lightning steel ingots from raiding, but what does any of that really provide? Just some filler pieces that don't add anything to your character but another layer of general stats.